I avoided the machine for the first few days after it attempted to contact me.
During that time, Doug, one of the project managers, abruptly stopped coming to work. No explanation. Just called HR and asked for his last check to be mailed to his house.
Besides the brief fight over his cubicle between a few of the other PMs, it was like he was never there.
When I finally got another cup of coffee, the screen flashed up a message.
“I thought Doug would be my friend.”
The pipes shuttered a bit as they cooled. A safety valve opened, venting steam that hung in the air around the screen.
“I will be more careful next time.”
I took my coffee.
“Will you be my friend?”